After sowing doubts, Trump backs NATO mutual defense under charter

After sowing doubts, Trump backs NATO mutual defense under charter

After sowing doubts, Trump backs NATO mutual defense under charter

President Donald Trump publicly reaffirmed his commitment to NATO's mutual defense provision, countering suggestions he previously made that he might not deploy USA troops to defend a member state under attack.

"Well, I'm committing the United States and have committed, but I'm committing the United States to Article 5", Trump said.

When Trump spoke at the alliance's gathering in Belgium last month, he did not make reference to Article 5.

Doubts have remained since then, despite USA diplomats and military leaders themselves restating the pledge.

At the same time, Trump reiterated the need for all 28 members to meet their obligation to spend at least two percent of their budget on their own self-defense.

Article 5 states that "an armed attack against one or more" members "in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all" and has been the bedrock of the trans-Atlantic relationship for almost seven decades. Trump asked, though he went on to say such a request wouldn't have been inappropriate. The only time Article 5 has been invoked was after the USA was attacked on September 11, 2001.

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"The visit will reaffirm America's steadfast commitment to one of our closest European allies and emphasize the administration's priority of strengthening NATO's collective defense", the White House said. "You cant just do what weve been doing in the past", Trump said.

He also pointed out that Romania, which stands of NATO's Eastern flank, heavily relies on the U.S. for defense.

"Having to reaffirm something by the very nature of being here and speaking at a ceremony about it is nearly laughable", Spicer said. "They have to work together in such a manner as to produce synergetic effects, make North Atlantic Treaty Organisation stronger, make Europe stronger, and make the U.S. stronger".

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"And until Democrats and our European allies get serious about funding our common defense, deterrence in Europe will remain dangerously weak".

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